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Full text of "Fish and Wildlife Management Report February 1, 1957"

February 1, 1957 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 

REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 

DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Division of Fish and Wildlife 



Hon. Clare E. Mapledoram 
Minister 



F.A. MacDougall 
Deputy Minister 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

Wildlife Notes from James Bay. 

- by A. Gagnon and H. G. Lumsden 1 



Investigation of the Waterfowl Brood Production of 
Luther Marsh, Ontario 3 1956. 

- by H. Gray Merriam and D. I. Gillespie 9 

Waterfowl Banding - Gogama District, 1956. 

- by W. R. Catton 12 



Duck Hunting In the Lake Erie District. 

- compiled by L. J. Stock 15 

Report of Pheasant Season, 1956, Lake Huron District . 

- by W. H. Cantelon 2k 



Winter Mortality of Deer, Kenora District, 1955-56. 

- by P. A. Thompson 28 

Deer Mortality Survey, 1956, Sioux Lookout District. 

- by E. H. Stone 31 



Aging and Sexing Muskrats, Lake Simcoe District, 

Fall of 1956. - by J. S. Dorland 3^ 



Chapleau District Summary of Experimental Trapline, 
1955-56. - by F. Johnston 36 

Marten Live Trapping, Chapleau District, 1956. 

- by V. Crichton 38 

Notes on Trip to St. Ignace Island, July 16-21, 1956. 

- by H. G. Gumming ^5 



Rondeau Bay Fishery Survey, May to October, 1950» 

- by A. H. Berst ^8 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



i 



- 1 - 



WILDLIFE NOTES FROM JAMES BAY 

by 
A. Gagnon and H. G. Lumsden 



Between 12 and 25 June, 1956, Mr. Alec Hunter and the 
writers attended trapline meetings at Albany and Attawapiskat , and 
collected information from the Indians on wildlife in the area. 

The itinerary was as follows: 

12 June. Left Moosonee by air for Albany. 

13-16 June. At Albany. 

17 June. Left Albany by canoe and reached an island at the mouth 
of the river where Len Hughes has his camp. 

IS June. Left this island and arrived at Attawapiskat. 

19-21 June. At Attawapiskat. 

21 June. Field trip to Thomas Kataquabet^s trapline north of 

Attawapiskat on the coast. 

22 June. Attawapiskat to Albany by canoe. 

23 June. At Albany. 

24 June. Albany to Nomansland Point by canoe. 

24-25 June. Nomansland Point to Moosonee by canoe. 

Limited field work was done on an island in the mouth 
of the Albany, on Thomas Kataquabet ? s trapline, and at Nomansland 
Point. 

Waterfowl Observations 

On 12 June, while flying from Moosonee to Fort Albany a 
count of the waterfowl was carried out from Big Piskwanish Point 
to the mouth of the Albany river. The tract of the aircraft passed 
over the salting and a quarter mile wide transect about 60 miles 
long was covered. 

The following waterfowl were seens 

Black Duck 145 Mallard 1 pair, 11 males. 

Pintail 17 Golden-eye 73 

Canada Goose 6 Blue Goose 1 



- 2 - 



Part of 17 June was spent on an island at the mouth of 
the Albany River. The following waterfowl were seen while walking 
about three miles of shore. 

Black Duck 

Pintail 

Golden-eye 

American Merganser 

Red-breasted Merganser 1 pair 



30 




Mallard 


1 pair, 3 males 


6 




Baldpate 


8 


4 




Scaup sp. 


5 


15 




Canada Goose 


4 


1 J 


>air 


Brant 


16 



Wilson Snipe were also heard winnowing during the evening, 
When a short visit was made to an adjacent marsh on the mainland, 
the following were noted? 



Black Duck, Mallard, Pintail 

Canada Goose 

Blue and Snow Goose 



300 plus 
50 
15 



On the IS June counts of water birds were made at various 
times during the canoe trip from the mouth of the Albany to 
Attawapiskat . The following were seen during the first 30 miles 
of the trip, from 6.30 to 10.30 a.m.. Some were flushed from the 
saltings as the boat passed but most were seen at sea. 



Black Duck 8 Pintail 11 

Two large flocks of these species 500. 



Mallard 2 



Golden-eye 10 

Red-breasted Merganser 7 

Surf Scoter 6 

Canada Goose 13 

Caspian Tern 1 



American Merganser 41 

Scaup sp. 2 

American Scoter 76 

Common Loon 3 

Unidentified (probably 
Scoter sp) 294 



The following were seen on the last eight miles on 
entering the mouth of the Attawapiskat to the post. 



Black Duck 28 

Green-winged Teal 22 

American Merganser 33 

Unidentified ducks 26 



Mallard 1 male 
Baldpate 1 pair 
Canada Goose 6 



! 









. 



' 






- 3 - 

The Kill of Waterfowl By Indians 

Information was collected by individual interview on the 
kill of Canada and Snow Geese and ducks in the fall of 1955 and 
the spring of 1956, These Indians are normally very truthful in 
providing wildlife harvest information to the Department. However, 
it was suggested soon after we began the work that some might be 
reluctant to give the correct figures of their take, because they 
thought the kill of geese might be restricted by quota. The Chief 
and Councillors at both settlements were told that we had no 
intention of limiting the harvest of geese by Indians who needed 
them for food. This was also repeated at the open trapline meetings. 

An assessment of the reliability of the figures was given 
later at various times by the Chief and some of the older hunters. 
They were satisfied that accurate estimates were being given for 
geese but because the duck kill is spread through the year and 
hunting is on a more casual basis, there might be some error in 
these figures. 

Not all the Indians at Albany and Attawapiskat take part 
in the fall and spring Snow Goose hunts. Some like Thomas Toomagatic 
who has a trapline lying away from the coast leave the settlements 
in August and do not return until after breakup when most of the 
Snows have left for the north. Few of these inland Indians delay 
their departure for their traplines as late as 10 September. Most 
of their waterfowl kill consists of Canada Geese taken in the spring. 

Indians having traplines bordering on the coast usually 
make the most of their opportunities to take Snow Geese. The 
highest kill reported was that of John Spence P E 216, who killed 
90 in the fall, and 400 in the spring. He still had many of these 
smoked and dried for use during the summer. 

The total and average kills of waterfowl for #2 treaty 
Indians living at Attawapiskat and for 115 living at Albany who were 
interviewed are given in the following tables § 

Total Waterfowl Kill for Fall and Spring 1955 and 1956 

Total 





Albany 


Attawa 
Fall 


piskat 




Fall Spring 


Spring 


Canada Geese 


184 1,215 


226 


1,437 


Snow Geese 


4,379 2,274 


3,340 


2,134 


Ducks 


865 207 


1,364 


423 


TOTAL 


5,428 3,699 


5,430 


3,994 



3,065 
12,627 

2,859 
18,551 



- 4 - 



Average Kill of Waterfowl Per Hunter 



Albany 



Canada Geese 
Snow Geese 
Ducks 



Fall Spring 

2 11 

39 20 

8 2 



Attawa pi skat 
Fall Spring 



3 

47 
17 



IS 

26 

5 



Fall and Sprin g 
(195 Hunters) 

16 

65 

15 



The Indians reported that the spring hunt of Snow Geese 
was a good one this year particularily in the Lake River area. 
They suggested that the slow breakup this spring delayed the birds 
on the coast for longer than usual. 

Ducks are not hunted heavily by the Indians. Ammunition 
costs are high and they prefer to use their supply on geese and 
other large species. 

When the opportunity presents itself they will kill 
flightless moulting ducks. James Sutherland, the Chief at Albany 
gave his total kill of waterfowl at 159 and reported using 100 
shells. When asked about this inconsistency he said he had killed 
about SO moulting ducks with a stick. 

Thomas Toomagatic also used to return to his trapline 
on the Attawapiskat River to hunt flightless geese in late summer 
with dogs. 

In order to reduce ammunition costs many Indians use 
16 or 20 gauge shot guns and also load their own shells. They use 
each shell case about three times and reduce the charge they load 
to a minimum. Since the}' - are very good shots and do not fire at 
long range their efficiency is high. 

Figures supplied by the Hudson Bay Co., the free traders 
and the Mission on ammunition sold during the current year are 
presented below. 



Albany 
Attawapiskat 
TOTAL 



Powder 
426 pounds 
392 pounds 
818 pounds 



Loaded Shells 
820 boxes of 25 
286 boxes of 25 
1,106 boxes of 25 



Since between 60 and 80 shells can be loaded with one 
pound of powder these totals probably represent about 85,000 shots 
The Indians interviewed reported using far less ammunition than 
this. Their figures are as follows s 



- 5 - 
Powder Loaded Shells 



Albany 33 pounds 390 boxes of 25 

Attawapiskat 219 poun ds 79 boxes of 25 

TOTAL 307 pounds 469 boxes of 25 

This probably represents about 33 > 200 shots. It is not 
possible at this time to use ammunition expenditures to compute 
kill of waterfowl because an unknown amount is used at ptarmigan, 
sharp-tailed grouse, loons and other birds. The quantity of unused 
ammunition still retained by the Indians is also unknown and may 
account for the disparity in the figures obtained from the traders 
and those reported by the Indians. 

The use of loaded shells is far more widespread at Albany 
than at Attawapiskat, It was noticed that Indians working on the 
radar site seldom bought powder, using only manufactured shells. 

Recovery of Waterfowl Bands 

All Indians were asked if they had shot any banded water- 
fowl and if they did to bring the bands in for checking. The 
result is the recovery of the following; 

Canada Geese 50 bands and 3 neck bands 

Snow Geese 30 bands 

Ducks IS bands 

TOTAL 98 bands and 3 neck bands 

In addition the following lost bands were reported: 





Albany 


Attawapiskat 


Total 


Canada Geese 


13 


7 


20 


Snow Geese 


1 


3 


4 


Ducks 


1 


1 


1 


TOTALS 


15 


11 


26 


Sandhill Cranes 









Thomas Toomagatic reported that he occasionally caught 
flightless young cranes when hunting moulting geese with dogs on his 
trapline, about 60 miles up the Attawapiskat River. He reported 
them common there every summer. 



- 6 - 

Jacob Sutherland P E 142, and Jacob Koostachin 142 P E, 
reported seeing cranes dancing on their traplines just before they 
left for the settlements in the spring* 

Polar Bears 

Abraham Paulmarten who traps on Cape Henrietta Maria 
killed one female polar bear in the fall of 1955 • Bear tracks 
seen on the coast earlier he thought belonged to this same animal. 
He did not think there were others on his ground. 

Mr. Cahill of the Carter Construction Company reported 
seeing $ polar bears while flying over Bear Island, NWT. late in 
the fall of 1955 • He said that so far none of his men have been 
able to land on Bear Island, and to his knowledge no bears have 
been shot there. 

Walrus 

Stan Louttit reported seeing walrus regularly around 
Walrus Island when he worked on the Hudson Bay Co., boats. In 
August 1939 he saw about a 100 there. The boat crews used to see 
them regularly well out in the bay north from Ekwan Point. He 
reported an attack by a walrus on a canoe some years ago which 
luckily did not result in the destruction of the boat. 

Howling or Walking Seal 

On two occasions Indians described a species of seal they 
called Muktao akik, giving the above English names for it. David 
Spence who shot one some 10 years ago described it as being reddish 
brown in colour with hind flippers turned in under its body and 
canine teeth about two inches long. Alex Wesley, the Chief at 
Attawapiskat, reported finding a pup about IS inches long when he 
was a young man. It was a dirty white in colour. 

Spence ? s description suggests a seal of the family 
Otariidae but he did not mention the presence of ears on his 
specimen, confirmation must await further evidence. 

Wolverine 

A single wolverine was killed at Moose Factory during 
the winter of 1955-56. A number of tracks reports were received 
for the last two winters. They are as follows? 

Mathew Lazarus P E 131 - Winter 1955-56, 15 miles east of the Ghost 

River Post. 

Simeon Friday P E 145 - December 1955 at Job Lake. 

James Sutherland P E 142 - Winter 1954-55 on his trapline. 

Mathew Okimow P E 225 - Winter 1954-55 close to Attawapiskat. 

Xavier Metat P E 206 - Winter 1954-55 on his trapline. 



- 7 - 

Fisher 

This species was reported to have been abundant 20 years 
ago around Attawapiskat. About the last one to be killed in that 
area was taken by Xavier Iahtail five miles west of the Post some 
10 years ago. 

Some reports of fisher litter sizes were received. 
Simeon Metat found two dens about 15 years ago containing four 
and two young, at the headwaters of the Ghost River. The snow was 
still on the ground at the time. Jacob Koostachin also found two 
dens containing two young each. He said they were found "before 
goose time" about 20 years ago on the Ekwan River. 

Simeon Friday 9 s father was reported to have killed a 
pregnant fisher about 20 years ago containing six young. Thus 10 
young fisher were reported in four litters given an average of 
2.25 young per litter. One pregnancy involving six young was also 
recorded. 

Marten 

Twenty years ago marten were abundant in the Albany and 
Attawapiskat watersheds. They rapidly disappeared and virtually 
none were reported in this area prior to the initiation of the 
planting program in 1951. 

Since then plantings have been made at four sites in 
Patricia East as follows? 

1951, 35 miles north of the junction of the Albany and Kenogami 
rivers. 

1952 and 1953 at Sutton Lake. 

1952 and 1954* 40 miles northeast of the Ghost River Post. 

1955 on the Attawapiskat, 15 miles west of the post. 

Tracks of marten were reported from the following trap- 
lines in the Albany and Attawapiskat band areas in the winter of 
1954-55 and 1955-56. 

P E 126, 129, 142, 150, 206, 212, 215, 21S, 222, 223, 230, 232 
and 23S. 

Most of these reports come from points within 40 miles of 
a planting site. Abraham Mattinas P E 23$, reported releasing a 
marten caught accidentally in a squirrel trap. 

Suspected Rabies Cases 

At the trapline meetings numerous reports were received 
of sick foxes, a number of which attacked dogs which later died. 



- 8 - 

The general feeling was that foxes were scarcer in the 1955-56 
winter than previously, coincident with a decline in mouse and 
rabbit populations. 

Isiah Sutherland reported a red fox biting two of his 
dogs at Albany in February, 1956. One died in a week, and the 
other in about a month. 

Simeon Me tat reported seeing foxes that he thought were 
sick They came right into his camp and showed no fear. 

Mat hew Ogimow said a sick fox was seen climbing on his 
tepee. It later fought with one of his dogs which went mad and 
died about two weeks later. 

Abraham Paulmarten found two dead foxes during the winter 
and Ernie Metat found one. 

Xavier Metat reported a sick fox blundering into trees as 
it ran. 

In the absence of laboratory confirmation it is not 
possible to say that rabies is still present in this area. However, 
some of the reports are highly suggestive. 

White-tailed Deer 

The only reports of deer from the two band areas under 
consideration were of one killed at the junction of the Ghost and 
Albany rivers in 1953* by Simeon Metat, and of tracks seen near 
the same place in 1954» 



_ Q _ 

INVESTIGATION OF THE WATERFOWL BROOD PRODUCTION 

OF LUTHER MARSH, ONTARIO, 1956. 

1 by ? 

H. Gray Merriam- 1 - and D. I. Gillespie^ 



Waterfowl brood production of Luther Marsh, Ontario was 
investigated July 1 to 3, 1956. This work was carried out by the 
Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division 
and the Ontario Agricultural College, Department of Entomology 
and Zoology. 

Luther Marsh is a flood control impoundment managed by 
the Grand Valley Conservation Commission, Day (1) described the 
area in 1955. 

Water levels, during this investigation, were an estimated 
12 to 24 inches above the October normal. 

Ducks 

Nests 

Limited amounts of time during mid-day were used in nest 
hunting. Two uncut hay fields, one pasture and one small, weed- 
covered island were searched on foot, with a dog. 

No waterfowl nests were located. Possible reasons were 
the brief time available and the lush condition of the vegetation. 

One blue-winged teal ( Anas discors ) nest was located 
by questioning local residents. This nest contained 5 eggs on 
June 29; 3 more had been laid by July 3. Local residents stated 
that many incubating blue-winged teal have been discovered during 
haying operations of previous years, 5 on a 20-acre field in one 
instance. Females that escaped the mowers hatched their clutches 
during the week following haying. Haying operations in this area 
begin about the week of July 12, 

Broods 

Brood hunting was confined to early morning and late 
evening. Sample areas of each vegetative type in the marsh 
(except Wylde Lake) were searched by boat. Shoreline was investi- 
gated on foot where visibility was limited by vegetation. 

Graduate Assistant, Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, 
Fish and Wildlife Division. 

2 Summer Assistant, Ontario Agricultural College, Department of 
Entomology and Zoology. 



- 10 - 

No waterfowl broods or "broody" females were seen. 
Local residents reported no broods. 

Mallards and Blacks 

Mallards and black ducks may have hatched some broods 
or may have been in late stages of incubation. Ten adult mallards 
were observed (Table 1), 1 pair and 8 lone males. Only 2 of 26 
adult blacks were paired" many of the remaining 24 could have been 
males. No flightless males of either species were seen. A few 
broods of these 2 species may have been present in the flooded 
timber and ericaceous shrubbery. Observation in these habitats 
is difficult o 

Teal and Ruddy Ducks 

Several observations suggested that few, if any, blue- 
winged teal, green-winged teal (A^ carolinensis ) or ruddy ducks 
( Erismatura .jamaicensis ) had completed incubation by this date. 

TABLE I - Adult Waterfowl Observations, Luther Marsh, Ontario 
July 2-3, 1956 (114 ducks). 



Date 
1956 

July 2 

a.m. 
July 2 

p.m. 
July 3 

a.m. 

Total Paired 
Birds 



Mallard 



Black 



pr. lone 
14 
5 
1 5 



Blue-winged 

Teal 
pr. <S $ 



7 
3 



11 
21 



20 



Total All Birds 



10 



26 



52 



Date 
1956 

July 2 

a.m. 
July 2 

pom. 
July 3 

a.m. 

Total 

Paired 

Birds 

Total All 
Birds 



Green-winged 
Teal 



2L: 



1 
1 

4 



6 $ 



4 



Ruddy 



pr. cf g 

2 4 

2 1 



Ring- 
necked 



pr, 



6 9 



Uniden- 
tified 



1 
1 
1 



11 



11 



- 11 .- 

Table 1 shows 14 pairs and 45 lone birds of these 3 
species. No counts were made during mid-day hours but a lack of 
pairs and a preponderance of lone males were evident at this time. 
No flightless males were observed. Information given above on 
nesting and hatching supplements these indications. 

Adults 

Observations on adult waterfowl were subordinate to 
the brood census. Table 1 shows data gathered during nest and 
brood investigations. 

Other Marsh Birds 

Incidental information on other marsh birds was gathered 
during nest and brood investigations. 

TABLE II - Incidental Observations of Marsh Birds 





American 


Pied- 


-billed 


Common 


Virginia 


Date 


Coots 


Grebt 


3S 


Loons 


Rails 




Ad . Juv . 


Ad. 
2 


Juv. 


Ad. 


Ad. 


July 2 






a.m. 












July 2 


5 4 


9 


2 




1 


p.m. 




2 


4 






July 3 




9 


5 










9 


5 


3 





Totals 



4 



16 



Summary 

An 
Luther Marsh, 
blue-winged t 
but 114 adult 
investigation 
that few, if 
hatched by th 
been present 



investigation of waterfowl brood production of 
Ontario was carried out July 1 to 3, 1956. One 

eal nest was located. No waterfowl broods were seen 
ducks were observed. Observations made during this 
and information given by local residents suggest 

any, blue-winged and green-winged teal clutches had 

is date. Some black duck and mallard broods may have 

on the area, none was observed. 



Literature Cited 

(1) Day, J. Hs An Investigation of Luther Marsh, Ontario. 

Canadian Wildlife Service. 1955. 



- 12 - 



WATERFOWL BANDING - GOGAMA DISTRICT, 1956 

by 
W. R. Catton 



Purpose of Project 

To get some idea of the number of Black Ducks hatched in 
Ontario* s vast pond region; in particular the area known as Grassy 
River in the Townships of Sothman and Haliday. Waterfowl banding 
has been done for years although never before in this part of 
Ontario. Besides furnishing information on numbers of locally 
raised birds the project will also furnish information on migration 
routes taken by birds raised in this region. 

Preliminary Work Leading Up To the Establishment of the 
Banding Station. 

In early September 1955 a trip was authorized to look 
over the Grassy River area with a view to future establishment of 
a banding station. The trip was made by members of the District 
Staff and Mr. Alex Dzubin of the Canadian Wildlife Service. This 
trip was covered in an earlier report by Mr. Dzubin (Fish and 
Wildlife Management Report #27, February, 1956) whose conclusions 
were that a banding station should be set up in the area. 

On August 2nd, 1956 Mr. Edward Baker, United States Game 
Management Agent arrived in Gogama to take charge of the project. 
Following two days preparations Mr. Baker accompanied by W. R. 
Catton flew into Washagami Lake. 

The following is a record of time spent on the project 
during its six weeks of operations 

Aug. 5-9th During this period we were without grain with which to 
bait. However, time was well spent making repairs to the trappers 7 
cabin in which we found lodging for the duration of the project, 
constructing a dock for the aircraft and clearing brush to make 
room for grain storage and clearing a site on which rolls of wire 
might be unrolled and cut into traps, etc. Several trips were made 
by canoe to enable Mr, Baker to see the area and pick out and mark 
possible trapsites. On August 9th the grain arrived, consisting of 
cracked corn, wheat and barley. The cracked corn proved to be most 
popular with the birds, 

Aug. 9-15t h It should be mentioned that during this period not more 
than 10-15 birds were counted in any single day. This caused some 
concern for the success of the project. Having located as many 
sites as deemed necessary, time was now spent clearing these sites 
of vegetation, usually wild rice or hard stemmed bulrush. A 
scythe was used for this. After clearing the site bait was put out 
and stakes drivon into the bottom. The stakes were merely to get 
the birds accustomed to signs of activity s*bout the bait. About 
one dozen sites were prepared in this manner. It was difficult to 



.- 13 - 

locate sites having a firm bottom and in many instances where sand 
bottoms were found, the water was too deep for a trap. Sites 
picked had either sand or mucky bottoms; however on the mucky sites 
the hard bottom was not more than eight inches beneath. Lengths of 
burlap were stapled together where proposed sites were picked but 
the muck proved too deep. In such instances the burlap was 
stretched out, submerged and the grain scattered over the cloth. In 
that there was no acceptance of bait on such a setup we did not 
operate any traps having burlap bottoms. All traps were set in 
from S to 10 inches of water. 

Traps used were the portable welded wire type having 
either one or three funnel entrances, roofed with cotton netting 
and having a catching box at the back. The wire was supported on 
poles driven into the bottom. Once baited, sites were checked 
daily to watch for any acceptance of the bait. Time was also spent 
cutting the 300 ft. rolls of 1" x 2" mesh, 4 foot wide wire to the 
desired size for traps. 

On the evening of the 15th the first sign of bait accep- 
tance was noticed at "Able" site located on Washagami Lake. As 
acceptance was light, it was decided to wait rather than go ahead 
and construct a trap. The next few days were spent constructing 
traps and catching boxes at the cabin, and checking baited sites. 
On the lSth, Officer Catton was replaced by Ranger Paul Endress 
and Mr. Wm. Goldie. On this date also the bait had been removed 
at "Dog" site on Grassy River. However, we still had not noticed 
more than 15 to 20 trappable ducks in the area. 

A ug. 20th First trap constructed at "Able" site but not yet closed 
so as to trap birds. Upon checking bait at "Dog" site, from 3 5 to 
40 birds were flushed from the grain, and an unclosed trap was 
constructed. Up until this time Mr. Baker had not been optimistic 
about the success of the project, believing that we would do well 
to band 100 birds. 

A ug. 23rd First birds taken in "Able". Two more traps closed in 
and made ready to catch birds. On the 30th the last trap was put 
into operation, bringing the total in use to five. 

When trapping operations ceased after 25 days actual 
trapping the following birds had been bandeds 

44$ Blacks 2 Green-winged Teal 

11 Mallards 2 Hooded Mergansers 

Counting repeats, a total of 1,547 birds were handled. There were 
10 casualties, attributed to trap damage and predators. One Great 
Horned Owl was caught in the catching box and destroyed. It is 
assumed that most casualties resulted from the presence of hawks 
or owls about the traps, causing the birds to panic. 

Sept. 1st Mr. Goldie departed for Sault Ste. Marie. On Sept. 
10th Officer Catton arrived at Washagami Lake remaining until the 
project v/as finished. 



- 14 - 

Sept. 15th All traps were dismantled and stored in the bush for 



possible future use. 








Results of Each Days 


Actual Trapping - 


25 Days 




Date 




Number 
8 


Repeats 


Casualties 


August 23 




_ 


August 24 




24 


- 


1 


August 25 




39 


4 


- 


August 26 




41 


10 


1 


August 27 




20 


22 


- 


August 28 




13 


17 


- 


August 29 




20 


23 


- 


August 30 




16 


26 


- 


August 31 




13 


29 


1 


September 


1 


16 


27 


_. 


September 


2 


6 


29 


- 


September 


3 


10 


24 


1 


September 


4 


24 


30 


- 


September 


5 


21 


39 


- 


September 


6 


21 


44 


- 


September 


7 


30 


76 


3 


September 


8 


15 


42 


- 


September 


9 


31 


81 


- 


September 


10 


27 


97 


1 


September 


11 


14 


103 


- 


September 


12 


13 


79 


- 


September 


13 


17 


81 


- 


September 


14 


10 


111 


1 


September 


15 


13 


81 


1 



TOTALS 462 1075 10 

Conclusions 

While no flightless birds were banded it was felt by 
Mr. Baker that all the birds banded up to September 3rd were hatched 
or had spent the summer in the Grassy River area. From the record 
of daily catches it is apparent that there were two peak periods 
indicating that the last influx was the result of birds not hatched 
in the immediate vicinity. 

It should be mentioned that at no time were ducks seen 
in such large flocks as in previous years. This might be attributed 
to the activity in the area caused by the project itself" however, 
aircraft flights over the vicinity revealed no large flocks. It is 
possible that the late summer and early fall were in some way 
responsible. 

Mr. Baker ? s conclusions were that the project was success- 
ful and should be carried on one more year, at least. Judging from 
the area, it was his opinion that in a season of normal weather the 
number of birds banded could be doubled. 



- 15 



DUCK HUNTING IN THE LAKE ERIE DISTRICT 



(compiled by) 
L, J. Stock 



Some statistics and comments collected by Lake Erie 
District staff on hunter success and species composition of the bag 
on October 1, 1955 (opening day - a full day's shoot" October 6, 
1956 (opening day - a half-day's shoot) and October 8, 1956 (a full 
day's shoot) . 

C ontents 

Hunter success on opening day, Saturday, October 6, 1956, 
(season open at 12 o'clock noon) at Long Point, Rondeau, Lower 
Grand River, Haldimand County and Welland County. TABLE I. 

Hunter success on opening day, Saturday, October 6 (a half 
day's shoot) compared to the following Monday, October 8, (a full 
day's shoot) at Long Point, Rondeau, Haldimand County. TABLE II. 

Hun ter success on opening days compared - October 1, 1955 (a 
full day's shoot) and October 6, 1956, (a half day's shoot) at 
Long Point, Rondeau, Haldimand County, Mitchell's Bay. TABLE III. 

Species composition of the hunters' bag on opening day - 1955 
and 1956 compared at Long Point, Rondeau, Haldimand County, Lower 
Grand River, Welland County, Mitchell's Bay. TABLE IV. 

Species composition of the hunters' bag on Saturday October 6, 
1956, (a half day's shoot) compared to Monday, October 8, 1956, 
(a full day's shoot). TABLE V. 

Species composition of the bag for the entire Lake Erie District 
on opening day's 1955 and 1956. TABLE VI. 

Hunter success for the entire Lake Erie District on opening 
day's 1955 and 1956. TABLE VII. 

Discussion and comments 

Acknowledgments 



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- 21 - 

TABLE VI - Species composition of the bag for the entire Lake Erie 

District on opening day 1955 and 1956, 

19 5 5 19 5 6 

Number Shot Percent of Bag Number Sho t Percent of Bag 

Mallard 223 27 245 13 

Pintail 3 13 

Baldpate 21 2.5 3 .06 

Black Duck 75 3.7 316 23 

B. W. Teal 373 44 603 45 

G. W. Teal 122 14 124 9 

Wood Duck 17 2 33 3 

Canvas-back 1 

Scaup 6 2 

Ringneck 1 

Ruddy 1 

TOTAL 357 1350 

Coots 16 

Unretrieved 275 24 42 3.0 



TABLE VII - Hunter success for the entire Lake Erie District on 
opening day 1955 and 1956. 



19 5 5 19 5 6 



No. of hunters checked 
Total hours hunted 
Total ducks bagged 
Ducks bagged per hunter 
Ducks bagged per hunter hour 
Unretrieved ducks - percent 



334 


534 




2350 


357 


1350 


2.6 


2.5 




0.57 


24.0 


3.0 



■ - * 



- 22 - 

Discussions and Comments 

The material in this report may be used to compare hunter 
success and species composition of the bag for the days shown, and 
the quality of duck hunting in different types of habitat. Better 
shooting occurs at Long Point, Rondeau, Lower Grand River and 
Mitchell's Bay, These are all extensive marsh areas, and with the 
exception of Rondeau, consist largely of privately owned or operated 
marshes with controlled shooting. Inland ponds and streams are 
largely unimproved habitat and provide inferior shooting. They are 
represented by the Upper Grand River, Dry Lake and vicinity, both 
included in Haldimand County, and Mud Lake and vicinity in Welland 
County. 

Weather for the three days concerned was briefly as 
follows - October 1, 1955 was sunny and warm, October 6, 1956, 
cloudy and warm with scattered showers. Hunters at Rondeau were 
rained out before official closing time for the shoot on October 6. 
October 8, 1956 was sunny and warm with a southwest wind at 20 m.p.h. 

All bags were checked by officers in the field, except 
at Rondeau where the Parks staff checked the hunters who left the 
marshes through the Park. The latter are shown as gate checks. 
Rondeau field checks were made outside the Park and did not include 
those checked by the Parks staff. 

On opening day 1956, hunters were more successful on the 
Lower Grand River. Other areas in order of success weres Long 
Point, Rondeau, Welland County and Haldimand County, (Table I). 
In every case hunters bagged more birds per hour on Saturday 
October 6, 1956 in one-half day than on the following Monday in a 
full day, (Table II). 

The percentage of unretrieved ducks increased from October 
6 to 3, 1956 - at Rondeau from 4.6 to 33.3 (Table II.) When 
opening days for 1955 and 1956 are compared, the percentage of 
unretrieved ducks dropped sharply from 22 to 7.3 at Long Point and 
30 to 4.6 at Rondeau, (Table III). 

Comparing opening days in 1955 and 1956 ducks per hunter 
increased at Long Point and Haldimand County and decreased at 
Rondeau. However, ducks per hunter hour decreased at Long Point 
and increased in Haldimand County. Mitchell's Bay in 1955 showed 
the greatest success of any area - birds per hunter 6.5 and birds 
per hunter hour 2.0, (Table III). Mallards constituted 64% of the 
bag at Mitchell's Bay (the highest in any area). They were prominent 
at Rondeau and the Lower Grand River and scarce in other areas, 
(Table IV). 

The highest percentage of Blacks was taken in Welland 
County (66$) in 1956. In other areas they constituted about one- 
third of the bag or less, (Table IV). 



[ 



- 23 - 

More Teal were shot than any other species on opening 
days in 1955 and 1956. At Long Point they provided 95% or more 
of the bags at Rondeau over 60%. Teal were also prominent in 
Haldimand County and the Lower Grand River but relatively scarce 
at Mitchell ? s Bay, (Table IV). 

Comparing the species taken on October 6 and $, 1956. 
The percentage of Teal taken remained approximately the same at 
Long Point but dropped sharply at Rondeau. Mallards were very 
scarce at Rondeau on the second day but Blacks increased from 9 
to 46 percent, (Table V). In Haldimand County hunting was very 
poor on October £, (Table V). 

Wood Ducks were reported only from Rondeau on the first 
two days of the open season and constituted 8% of the bag on each 
day, (Table V) . 

We have a reliable report that some hunters refrain from 
shooting Wood Ducks, hence the hunters* bag may not be a true indica- 
tion of the availability of this species. However, there is no 
doubt that some are shot due to an error in identification and 
some of these may not be revealed due to bag restrictions, hence 
the kill is probably higher than shown in the actual bag. 

Over the entire district on opening day Blue-winged Teal 
provide almost one-half the shooting. Blacks, Mallards and Green- 
winged Teal are next in importance and then order of importance 
changes from year to year. From 1955 and 1956 Mallards dropped 
9%, Blacks increased 14.3%> Green-winged Teal dropped 5%, Wood Duck 
increased 1%, The scattering of other species is insignificant in 
any year, (Table VI). The percentage of unretrieved birds dropped 
from 24 to 3 from 1955 to 1956, (Table VI). The small number of 
Coots reported indicates the unpopularity of that species. 

Hunter success for the entire District remained practi- 
cally the same for 1955 and 1956 at two and a half birds per hunter 
on opening day. Considering the weather and the fact that opening 
day in 1956 was only a half-days shoot, the hunters lost nothing 
by being deprived of the opening morning, (Table VII). 

Hunters and Department personnel are generally in favor 
of the noon opening of the waterfowl season. 

Acknowledgments 

Credit is given to the following personnel who contri- 
buted to this report. Conservation Officers, J. W. Allan, A. H. 
Mclntyre, D. C. Martin, R. W. Finch, C. R. McKeown, A. R. Muma, 
E. A. Roberts and to Keith Cameron and members of the Rondeau Park 
Staff. Compilation by L. J. Stock. 



- 24 - 

REPORT OF PHEASANT SEASON, 1956, LAKE HURON DISTRICT 

by 

W. H. Cantelon 



The overall success of the 1956 pheasant shoot in the 
Lake Huron District was not good. The wet, cold weather during 
the first part of the nesting period could possibly be a factor 
in the reduction in birds. Several young pheasants were bagged 
which were not fully feathered. 

A number of hunters attributed their poor success to the 
difficulty in flushing pheasants from the great amount of corn 
unharvested in the fields at the time of the shoot. 

A special effort was made by Department Officers to 
assess the results of the additional four days pheasant season 
with respect to hunting pressure. See Tables II and III. 



• 25 - 

TABLE I - Showing by Townships the Number of Hunters Interviewed 
and Hunter Success. 











CO 




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County 


Township 


Checking Officer 
Bellinger, R. R„ 


SO 

23 


S Ctf 

9 


14 


«3}tC 


HH t — ' 


Huron 


Hay 


.32 


1758 




Stephen 


Bellinger, R. R. 


43 


7 


27 


.14 


7 $ 




Stanley 


Bellinger, R. R. 


2 


6 


1.3 


3 


50* 


Brant 


Burford 


Marr, M. 


46 


11 


17 


o24 


13* 




M. Dumfries 


Marr, M. 


12 


7 


7 


.53 


16* 




S. Dumfries 


Marr, M. 


46 


17 


7 


.37 


15* 


Oxford 


Blenheim 


Marr, M. 


72 


15 


13 


.20 


6* 




Blandford 


Clark, H. W. 


26 


10 




.34 


26* 




E. Zorra 


Clark, H. W. 


9 


12 




1.3 


55* 




E. Oxford 


Clark, H. W. 


33 


3 




.21 


44* 




N. Norwich 


Clark, H. W. 


168 


159 




.94 


5 £ 




W. Zorra 


Clark, H. W. 


24 


10 




.41 


33* 




W. Oxford 


Clark, H. W. 


4 


1 




.25 


25* 


Went worth 


Eo Flamborough 


Wolfe, C. /U 


61 


7 


35 


.11 


42% 




Wo Flamborough 


Wolfe, C. A. 


20 


2 


79 


.10 


45* 




Beverly 


Wolfe, C. A. 


10 





N/A 


N/A 


70* 




Saltfleet 


Wolfe, Co A. 


3 





N/A 


N/A 







Glandford 


Wolfe, C. A. 


3 





N/A 


N/A 


2 5* 


Waterloo 


Wilmot 


Merner, F. H, 


129 


57 


11 


• 44 


21* 




Waterloo 


Merner, F, Ho 


43 


21 


10.9 


.43 


12* 


Halton 


Nelson 


Cantelon, W.H. for 


i 














Hitchcox, A. D. 


11 


3 


13 


.27 


9* 




Trafalgar 


ft ft St 


12 


3 


15 


.25 


3* 


Wellington 


Puslinch 


Cantelon, W.H. for 














Matthews, G. C. 
TOTALS 


7 
327 


1 
366 


15 


.14 


14* 









- 26 - 



TABLE II - Showing by Counties the Number of Hunters 
Checked by Conservation Officers During 
The Seven Days of the 1956 Pheasant 
Season, 



Sat. Mon. Tues, Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. 
County Oct. 27 Oct. 29 Oct. 30 Oct. 31 Nov. 1 Nov. 2 Nov. 3 



Huron 


23 


3 


4 


10 








33 


Brant 


61 


7 


27 


20 





15 


46 


Oxford 


154 


54 


7 


4 





20 


30 


Wentworth 


70 


5 


1 


6 








20 


Waterloo 


70 


20 


d 


13 


15 


7 


44 


Halt on 


21 










2 




Wellington 


5 












2 



404 



39 



47 



53 



15 



44 



175 



- 27 - 



TABLE III - Graph Showing Number of Hunters Checked Per Day By- 
Conservation Officers in the Regulated Areas in the 
Counties of Huron, Brant, Oxford, Wentworth, Waterloo, 
Halton and Wellington During the 1956 Pheasant Season 
in the Huron District. 



405 


Sat. 
Oct. 27 


Mon. 
Oct. 29 


Tues 
Oct. 30 


Wed. 
Oct. 31 


Thurs. 
Nov. 1 


Fri. 
Nov. 2 


Sat. 
Nov. 3 


\ 














345 


\ 














235 


\ 














225 
















165 
















105 
















60 
















15 

















1 
















404 


39 


47 


53 


15 


44 


175 



.. - ■ 



; 



- 28 - 
WINTER MORTALITY OF DEER, KENORA DISTRICT, 1955 - 1956. 

by 

Po A. Thompson 



Snow depths recorded at three snow stations in the 
Kenora District indicate that the deer herd probably had a tough 
time during the past winter. From December 26th, 1955 to March 
26th, 1956 snow depths on the ground ranged from a minimum of 22 
inches to a maximum of 3$ inches with an over-all average of 30.6 
inches for the fourteen weeks. 

Conditions of this nature prompted Fish and Wildlife 
staff to make preliminary investigations in four deer wintering 
areas of the Kenora District. Surveys were made between May 20th, 
1956 and June 3rd, 1956. One purpose of the investigation was to 
check on winter mortality on deer. 



1) G ranite Lake, May 20th, 1956 



This area is approximately 20 miles west of Kenora, 
north of #17 highway. Two cruise lines, 1 chain by 160 chains 
with an offset of 20 chains were run north of the highway. No 
dead deer were found. Although a considerable amount of the 
available browse, mainly hazel and mountain maple, was utilized, 
this area was not considered to be deer browsed. 

2) North Side of Long Bay, May 21st, 1956 

This area is approximately seven miles north of Sioux 
Narrows on the west side of Highway #70. Two cruise lines, one 
chain wide and 240 chains long with an offset of 20 chains running 
parallel to Highway #70 were run. Mo dead deer were found. 
Although heavy browsing was observed, the available food of this 
area was not considered to be overexploited. 

3) Indian Lake, May 26th, North of Grassy Narrows Indian Reserve 

This investigation resulted from information given by 
Indian trappers of this area. It was reported that many dead deer 
were seen in the lake. The shore line of Indian Lake was patrolled 
by boat and one dead deer was found. This animal was almost 
completely decomposed, however, examination of the remains revealed 
that it was a fawn of the previous year. The sex could not be 
determined. A small island in the southwest part of the lake, 
with an area of approximately 600 acres, was covered quite 
extensively. It was quite evident that deer had wintered on this 
island. An abundance of browse was available but the area was 
lacking in suitable cover. On the southeast side of the lake two 
cruise lines, 60 chains long and one chain wide with an offset 
of 20 chains were run. This area showed heavy usage of available 
browse and perhaps could be considered as an overbrowsed area. 
No dead deer were found. 



- 2? - 

On May 27th the shoreline of Big Fox Lake was patrolled 
by boat for reported dead deer. No dead deer were found. 

4) Cygnet Lake, Northeast of Minaki 

On June 3rd deer wintering areas east and west of Cygnet 
Lake were travelled. The findings on each will be dealt with 
separately. 

Cygnet Lake East 

This area is situated east of the north end of the lake. 
Two cruise lines, 200 chains long and one chain wide with an 
offset of 20 chains were run. Four dead deer, consisting of one 
five year old male, one four year old male, one eight year old 
female, and one one year old female were found. 

The lower jaw of each deer found was collected. As 
femur bones were broken on a previous inspection, thigh bones were 
taken from all except the one year old female. All animals found 
were in a decomposed condition. 

There were no indications that death was caused by 
predation. 

All available browse in this area was completely utilized, 
and thus gave reason to believe that the cause of death was from 
starvation. 

Cygnet Lake West 

This area is situated on the west side of Cygnet Lake. 
Two cruise lines SO chains long by one chain wide with an offset 
of 20 chains were run due west. One five year old male deer was 
found dead. This animal when found was complete with no indica- 
tion of utilization by scavangers. The lower jaw and femur bone 
was collected. As in the area east of the lake, all available 
browse was completely utilized. 

The total area of sample by Fish and Wildlife Staff 
was 160 acres or .25 of a square mile. On this sample area, six 
dead deer were found. See attached table, 

During June, July and August a timber cruising party 
operated in the following areas; Granite Lake south, Simpson Lake, 
Trout Lake and Locke Bay on the Winnipeg River. This party was 
asked to be on the lookout for dead deer. Their method of sampling 
was a continuous strip 22 feet or 1/3 of a chain wide. The area 
of sample was 150 acres or .23 of a square mile. Only dead deer 
that fell on the strip were counted. On the four areas the skeletons 
of 12 deer and one moose were found. (See attached table). 



■^;- •:: 



- 30 - 



With conditions of this nature appearing, Fish and 
Wildlife Staff of the District feel quite safe in predicting a 
decrease in the hunters 9 success this coming deer hunting season. 
Figures from the deer checking stations this fall should show the 
age classes hit hardest by the past winter* s extreme weather 
conditions. 



Table Showing Dead Animals Found on Area of Sample 



Sample B y 



Fish & Wildlife Staff 
Cruising Party 
TOTAL 



Area of Sample 
Acres Square Miles 

162 .25 

150 .23 



312 



48 



Animals Found 
Deer Moose 



6 
12 



Nil 
1 



18 



- 31 - 



DEER MORTALITY SURVEY, 1956 - SIOUX LOOKOUT DISTRICT 

by 
E. H. Stone 



During the past winter numerous trips were made into 
deer concentration areas for the purpose of determining the extent 
of these areas and also to collect data with regards deer movements. 
Snowfall was above normal and deer activity was very limited and 
any information that could be collected during such conditions may 
prove of some value in later years. Track count checks were made 
during the middle of the winter and early spring and this informa- 
tion was forwarded to Maple at an earlier date. 

It was also felt that if a deer mortality check was to 
be made in the spring then we would have areas already mapped for 
this survey. 

With spring being very backward it limited our time for 
making a mortality check. Up to May 12th snow conditions made it 
impossible to start the survey and by the end of the month foliage 
had grown so quickly that any work in this line had to be abandoned. 



Perrault Falls Area 

This was one 
the winter months. It 
extended approximately 
Perrault Falls bridge, 
the centre by a pulp c 
northern extremities o 
direction to Perrault 
so that this area was 



of the better areas that showed up during 
was located north of Perrault Lake and 
J mile north on highway 105 from the 
The area \ mile by J mile was split down 
ompany road. Transects were run from the 
f the concentration area in a north-south 
Lake. Lines were run at two chain intervals 
given a very thorough check. 



Distances were tallied with reasonable accuracy and a 
total of 20.5 miles was compiled for this concentration area. 

Summary of Deer Found 

Six dead deer were found and all were located on the 
strip or well within the chain width. 

Number 1 ; Found May 16th, 1956. Male fawn. Located on high 

ground in heavy balsam stand. Badly decomposed - no 
bones broken. Femur collected. 

Number 2% May 16th, 1956. Female. Located on high ground in 
heavy balsam stand. Carcass lying over log-- badly 
decomposed - no broken bones. Insides all eaten - unable 
to determine if carrying young or not. Femur collected. 



- 32 - 

Number 3 l May 16th, 1956. Male. Located on very high ridge- 
jackpine stand-blowdown area. Draped over log. Top 
side and insides eaten - balance gave appearance of 
starvation - no bones broken - femur collected. 

Number 4 s Female fawn. May 16th, 1956. Located 100 yards from 
Perrault Lake - low area. Over mature cedar in this 
area very heavy - should provide excellent cover. Badly 
eaten by ravens. No. broken bones - femur collected. 

Number 5 % May 17th, 1956. Female 42-5 years. Located approxi- 
mately 50 yards from Number 4« Partly eaten by ravens 
- innards gone. No broken bones. Femur collected. 

Number 6 ° May 17th, 1956. Male fawn. Located on rise in ground 
a short distance from Lake. Badly decomposed - no 
broken bones. Femur and other hind leg bones very 
brittle and were badly broken when trying to disjoint 
from other leg bones. Not collected. 

Eleven live deer were seen during the survey at Perrault 
Falls. All of these appeared in fair condition. Two of the 
above were year olds and the balance were adult deer. Trails in 
this area indicated that deer traffic had been very heavy during 
the past year. 

The available browse in the Perrault Falls concentration 
area was very heavily utilized. Overmature cedar is abundant but 
regeneration is poor or possibly not given a chance to survive. 
The cedar that remains is of little value to the deer as most of 
this is out of reach of the animals. 

Beard moss is abundant in the area and no doubt was the 
main diet for a portion of the winter. 

Mountain Maple abundant but browsed extremely heavy. 
Raspberry - heavily browsed. White Birch - moderately browsed. 

A Department scaler working the the neighbourhood of the 
Red Lake highway and north of the Perrault Falls area noticed 
at least nine dead deer during the course of performing his 
scaling duties this spring. There was no indication that wolves 
had been present. 

Sioux Lookout Area 

During the winter months four concentration areas were 
located along highway 72. These areas were not as heavily populated 
as the Perrault Falls area but were considered as good survey areas. 
If weather conditions had permitted it would have been relatively 
easy to accumulate 50-75 miles at these locations. Unfortunately 
conditions were adverse and little was done. 



- 33 - 

At mileage 12 on highway 72 approximately five miles 
were run. No dead deer were found. One live animal was observed 
and appeared in good condition. Browse conditions in this area 
was not as severe as at Perrault. Deer labelled number six (6) 
in shipment of bones to Maple was hit by a car on the highway 
leading to Hudson. Date of killings May 21st, 1956. Age; 
4i-5 year class. Sexs Female „ This animal was examined and 
found to be dry. 



- 34 - 

AGING AND SEXING MUSKRATS, LAKE SIMCOE DISTRICT 

FALL OF 1956 

by 
J. S. Dorland 



A total of 889 muskrat pelts were examined this fall by 
J. S. Dorland to determine the age and sex ratio of this animal in 
certain areas of the District. The chart below shows the figures 
as to area trapped, age, sex and ratio. 

Areas 1.5.7 as shown on the East and West Gwillimbury 
Trapper's map, consisting of 6 miles of river and ditches t 

Adult Juvenile Total Ratio 



male female male female 

44 33 205 165 452 1 female-10 juvenile 

Thirty-five acres of marsh in Area 10 as shown on East 
and West Gwillimbury Trapper's maps 

Adult Juvenile Total Ratio 



male female male female 

IS 16 59 45 13S 1 female- 5 juvenile 

One hundred acres of marsh in area four as shown on East 
and West Gwillimbury Trapper's maps 

Adult Juvenile Total Ratio 

male female male female 

27 27 71 48 173 1 female- 5 juvenile 

During the fall of 1955 with the water in the river 
higher than in the marsh, our figures showed only a ratio of three 
juvenile for every adult female harvested. This fall with the water 
lower in the river than in the marshes, the ratio on the river was 
10 juveniles per adult female caught. Old trappers in the marsh 
tell that the juvenile muskrat travel towards the river when water 
is high in the marsh and are harvested in the spring. 

Water level here shows reason for migration from marsh to 
river but, density of the muskrat s must also be kept in mind, and 
from past figures it enters into the picture considerably. As 
last spring with water levels low in the river, miles of the river 
bank were literally pulled to pieces by the muskrats for about 
three days. After that the muskrat moved out of the river into the 
marsh. This migration took place around the 1st of March last spring. 






, 



.-. 






' 



- 35 - 

Creeks in South Simcoe County: 
Adult Juvenile Total Ratio 



male female male female 

14 IS 61 33 126 1 female- 5 juvenile 

This area is considered very much undertrapped and has 
only been trapped in the fall the last two seasons. 

It is hoped that when all returns are in for the fall 
trapping in 1956, that the harvest will be considerably greater 
than last year when only a few trappers took advantage of the fall 
season. 



_..L:- . 






- 36 - 

CHAPLEAU DISTRICT SUMMARY OF EXPERIMENTAL TRAPLINE 

1955 - 1956 

by 
F. Johnston 



The experimental trapline in the Chapleau Crown Game 
Preserve was in operation for its 5th consecutive year. The trap- 
line began its operation for the current year on October lSth, 1955 
and closed on March 28th, 1956. 

The operation of the trapline was comparable to other 
seasons with two exceptions. First, all land traps were baited 
with canned sardines. Last year every second trap was baited with 
mirror. Secondly, beaver trapping was resumed after an absence of 
two years. 

Appendix 1 shows a summary of the trapline harvest by 
years from 1951 to 1956. 

During the current season there were 15 live beaver 
houses on the line, three more than at its inauguration. The 
following is a summary of live beaver houses during past five years 
of operation with take of beaver except those taken during open 
water in spring of 1952. 

Beaver Harvest 

1951-1952 12 46 

1952-1953 7 7 

1953-1954 8 

1954-1955 13 

1955-1956 15 41 

During the current season only 14 live houses were trapped, 
The 15th was occupied during the early part of season before freeze- 
up, while the shooting of beaver was carried out. It is presumed 
that the beaver were either shot or had moved to a new location. 
Two beaver were shot at this location but not recovered. 

After two years of intensive trapping pressure, 1951-52 
and 1952-53 » in which 79 and 7 beaver respectively were taken 
beaver were left alone during the following two trapping seasons 
to watch the rate of recovery. In the spring of 1952, beaver were 
shot and trapped for a few weeks during open water in which 33 
beaver were taken. During the regular trapping period of 1951-52 
season, 46 beaver were taken and during approximately the same 
period during 1955-56 season, 41 taken. 

The estimated number of untrapped beaver on the line at 
end of 1955-56 season is 5-6. 

For all data relative to operations of past trapping 
season reference should be made to Forms G240-241-242 and 243 
forwarded to the Department at Maple. 



: '•' 






: " 



■■V :■■ ; 



• 






:• 



i 



, i.O ' 






I 









- 37 - 

APPENDIX I - Summary of Catch on Experimental Trapline 
By Years, 1951-1956. 







1951-52 


1952-53 


1953-54 


1954-55 


1955-56 


Beaver 




79 


7 








41 


Marten 




64 


67 


74 


25 


14 


Mink 




15 


14 


10 


1 


4 


Fisher 




9 


6 


4 


1 


3 


Wolves 



















Otter 




14 


d 


6 


3 


3 


Fox 




4 


9 


7 





1 


Lynx 
















1 


Weasel 




5 


13 


22 


1 





Rabbit 




15 


27 


27 


5 


5 


Red Squirrel 


40 


36 


36 


11 


41 


Flying 


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- 38 - 



LARTEN LIVE TRAPPING, CHAPLEAU DISTRICT - 1956, 

by 
V. Crichton 



Marten Live Trapping for the purpose of restocking more 
northerly areas of the province was carried out in the district from 
Aug. 1st to Sept. 10th, 1956. Three main areas were trapped during 
this period as follows? 

1. Schewabik Lake area in the townships of Sadler and Copperfield 
on the easterly boundary of the Chapleau Game Preserve. 

2. Lipsett Lake in the township of Lipsett. 

3. Trump and Dragon (Eblow) and Abbey Lakes in the townships of 
Missinaibi. 

Areas two and three are situated entirely within the 
Chapleau Game Preserve. 

Bait used during this trapping was canned sardines, fresh 
fish and oil of rodium. 

During the above mentioned period a total of 43 marten were 
taken, 29 males and 14 females. 

Schewabik Lake 



Eighteen (18) days were spent trapping at Schewabik Lake 
from Aug. 2-19 during which time from 20 to 34 traps were utilized. 
An unusually high number of traps, 74 in all, were found to be closed 
during the trapping period of 18 days. In 1953 f 83 traps were closed 
but the trapping period extended for 32 days. 

The number of trap-days per animal unit caught was 31*8 
compared to 40.8 in 1954- Trapping was not carried on at Schewabik 
Lake in 1955 due to low water conditions. 

Sex ratio of males to females show the range to be from 
3 S 1 to 5s 1 during the previous years trapping at Schewabik Lake. 
This year (1956) the ratio was 2°1, 10 males and five females being 
taken during this period. 

During this period the weather was from cloudy to clear on 
16 days with two days in which there was rain. 

L ipsett Lake 

Twenty-one (21) days were spent at Lipsett Lake from Aug. 
22-Sept. 10 during which time from 12 to 28 traps were utilized. 
Thirty-three (33) traps were found to be closed during the 21 day 
period which was unusually high. The previous high of 46 in 1952 



- 39 - 

extended over a period of 23 days. However at both Lipsett and 
Schewabik Lakes, by far the greater amount of closed traps was due 
to the activities of bears which made a habit of travelling from 
trap to trap on certain sections of the traplines» 

The number of trap days per animal unit taken was 97 as 
compared to the previous high of 46 in 1952. 

Five marten were taken, three males and two females. 

The poor marten take at Lipsett Lake could be laid to the 
following factors? 

1. Eleven (11) days during this period there was heavy rain. 
Five of the ramaining days were foggy and wet. 

2. Transportation around lake for seven days was nil due to engine 
failure. 

3. Lack of initiative on part of trappers to use paddles to inspect 
traps. 

Trump-Elbow Lakes 

Twenty (20) days were spent at Dragon (Elbow) and Trump 
Lakes in township of Missinaibi from Aug. 2 to Aug, 20th during 
which time from 14 to 27 traps were utilized. Sixty-three ( 63) 
traps were found to be closed during this period. 

The number of trap-days per animal unit harvested was 25. 

Eighteen (13) marten were taken during this period, 12 
males and six females. 

Abbey Lake 

Situated in the township of Abbey, two miles southwest of 
Elbow and Trump Lakes. It is three miles long and is situated in 
ideal marten area. Trapping around this lake was undertaken for the 
first time this year. 

Twenty traps were employed between Aug. 24 and Sept. 7th. 

Five marten were taken, four males and one female and 
trap-days per animal unit harvested was .47. Sixty-six (66) traps 
were closed during this period. 

The weather during this period consisted mostly of heavy 
rains. 



- 40 - 



SUMMARY 
Schewabik Lake 



Period 



Aug. 2 to 19 



No. of Trap Days Per 

Animal Unit Trapped Male Female 



31.8 



10 



Number of traps closed - S3 

Other animals caught - 4 squirrels, 6 mink, 1 woodchuck 



E lbow - Trump Lakes 

Period 

Aug. 2 to 20 



No. of Trap Days Per 
Animal Unit Trapped 

25 



Number of traps closed - 63 

Other animals caught - 7 red squirrels. 



Abbey Lake 



Period 



Aug. 24 to Sept. 7 



No. of Trap Days Per 
Animal Unit Trapped 

47 



Number of traps closed - 66 

Other animals caught - 5 red squirrels 



Lipsett Lake 
Period 



Aug. 22 to Sept. 10 



No. of Trap Days Per 
Animal Unit Trapped 

97 



Number of traps closed - 33 

Other animals caught - 7 red squirrels. 



Male 
12 



Male 



Male 



Total 
15 



Female Total 
6 18 



Female Total 



Female Total 



Seventy-seven (77) per cent of the marten were taken 
between Aug. 2 and Aug. 19th. Not one marten was taken in Sept., 
which from our experience in other years, is very unusual. Weather 
conditions were very adverse in late August and deteriorated further 
in September so that marten trapping ceased on Sept. 11th. The 
ratio of males to females 2s 1 was the best ever encountered during live 
trapping operations. 



'"'■,. 



- 41 - 



Wages $703.90 

Groceries $330.60 

Gasoline | 50.90 

Hay food for marten | 21.23 

Total ....$1161.63 

Total cost per marten approximately - $27*00 
Cost per meal (three per day) - .7510 

Disposition of Marten 

Ten males and eight females were released on Aug. 17 at 
Swan Lake northwest of Attawapiskat approximately latitude 53°43 v 
longitude 33°55 v . Thirteen males and five females were released 
on Sept. 3rd at Sand Bank Lake, approximately latitude 51° and 
longitude 32°40 v . Two males and one female were released at Lipsett 
Lake on Sept. 11th. Two males sent to Ontario Research Foundation. 
Two males died in captivity. Total 29 males, 14 females. 



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- 45 t 

NOTES ON TRIP TO ST. IGNACE ISLAND, JULY 16-21, 1956. 

by 
H. G. Cumming 



Purpose of Trip 

To check on reports of increasing moose populations on 
St. Ignace Island. 

Members of Party 

J. B. McKenzie, Conservation Officer. 
H. G. Cumming, Biologist. 

Itinerary 

July 16; Proceeded from Pays Plat to Morn Harbour on the South end 
of Simpson Island. 

July 17; Looked over the surrouding country including a small 

inland lake on Simpson Island. Proceeded to Bead Island 
and St. Ignace Harbour on St. Ignace Island. 

July IS; Investigated the country inland from St. Ignace Harbour. 

July 19; Proceeded along coast to Agate Island, Squaw Harbour, 
Bowman Island and Duncan Cove. 

July 20; Worked inland to McEachan Lake, and travelled along the 
coast to Finch Point on the Northwest corner of St. 
Ignace Island. 

July 21; Proceeded to Pays Plat. 

Observations 

The procedure of the trip was to follow along the coast 
a short distance each day, contacting commercial fishermen and 
checking any anglers encountered, until we reached a suitable 
harbour. Here, camp would be set up and an excursion inland would 
be made. Notes were made on all life seen. 

Plants 

Plants were collected on Simpson Island and observed 
throughout the trip. Strawberries were ripe° blueberries and june- 
berries were near ripe. Gooseberries were in flower and green fruit 



- ' 



■ 



- 



T; ' 



- ,?, 



- . _^ 



■' : V ''"' ' " ' . 



.,-'. ■ : 



. •' 









■- ! ■". • 



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' ' . ' . 



01 ••;..- 



*"■ * " 






.-." 



. : ■ ' 



' • • ' • • . . 



■ ' - 






■ 






- 46 - 

No observable difference between the vegetation on the 
islands and on the mainland was noted. There appeared to be a 
higher percentage of the mountain species ( Alnus crispa ) among the 
alder than in the Geraldton area where speckled alder ( Alnus rugosa ) 
is more abundant. 

Birds 

The most impressive thing about the bird life was the 
large number of warblers present. Since it is far past migration 
time, it can be assumed that these were nesting on the islands. 
The following species were seens Mourning Warbler, Canada Warbler, 
Bay-breasted Warbler, Myrtle Warbler and a possible Cape May Warbler. 

Cedar Waxwings were also in abundance as were White- 
throated Sparrows. A Chipping Sparrow and Brown-capped Chickadee 
were also seen. 

Among the larger birds, Ruffed Grouse appeared fairly 
numerous. Three adults and one young were seen. This does not 
speak well for this year's reproduction, but since the one seen was 
able to fly and the bush was quite dense, it may have been that many 
young were missed. One Bald-headed Eagle was seen at the west end 
of Bowman Island. A female Golden-eye with 5 young and 11 adult 
Black Ducks were seen in the stream flowing from McEachan Lake, 
Mergansers, Loons and Herring Gulls were in abundance. 

Small Mammals 

Deer Mice ( Peromyscus maniculatus ) seemed to be particu- 
larly abundant on Simpson Island. Tracks were seen in the sand at 
several places, and two mice were observed for some time in the 
camp-fire light at Morn Harbour. The population may have been just 
as high on St. Ignace, but there were no equal opportunities for 
observing them. Red squirrels were heard on several occasions. 
Snowshoe hares seemed to be at their usual low level. 

Caribou 

The only sign of caribou was on Agate Island where a trail 
and winter droppings were seen. The fishermen report that this 
island is one of a series that the caribou cross in their wanderings. 
Winter food in the form of both tree lichens and ground lichens was 
in good supply on Agate Island, around Squaw Harbour and to a lesser 
extent around Duncan Cove. There were also some lichens available 
on Simpson Island. The contrast between the large amount of lichens 
present in these places, and the almost complete absence of them in 
similar forest types on the Slate Islands where caribou are numerous, 
was quite striking. 

Moose 

No moose were seen on the trip but there was considerable 
sign in evidence. Where ever young growth was to be found, there 



r . 



■ 






- 47 - 

were signs of winter browsing. The most abundant winter browse was 
found around Morn Harbour and St, Ignace Harbour. The McEachan Lake 
area appeared to be better summer habitat. Many fresh tracks were 
seen along the chain of lakes leading to Lake Superior. 

The mud wallow at Finch Point was very much in use as 
indicated by the tracks. Fresh calf tracks were among the others. 
Since the ladder from the old tree house used by the Peterson 
expedition was still standing, it was intended to make some observa- 
tions at this point. One hour was spent in the evening of July 20, 
with no results s and rain interfered with the proposed vigil next 
morning. 

Due to the small boat used and the shortage of time, the 
north side of the island was not visited. Since there were timber 
operations in that area as late as 1952, it is quite possible that 
good moose populations may be present. 

The Timber Management Division reports that more opera- 
tions are planned for the northern part of St. Ignace. If carried 
out they should bring about more increases in the moose herd. 

Other Animals 

No deer or wolf signs were found. Fresh bear sign was 
noticed in two places on St. Ignace Island. A beaver was seen in 
Morn Harbour. Two garter snakes were also seen. 

Summary 

1. The week of July 16 to 21 was spent along the south shore of 
St. Ignace and neighboring islands, looking for moose signs. 

2. Plants were collected and a record of the small mammals and 
birds seen was maintained. 

3. There were some signs of caribou on Agate Island and good winter 
food for them there, and on the South-western portion of St. 
Ignace Island. 

4. Winter moose browsing was evident at the Southern end of Simpson 
Island and at St. Ignace Harbour. Fresh tracks were seen at 
McEachan Lake and Finch Point. 

5. In order to give a more complete picture of the moose on St. 
Ignace Island, a week or so should be spent along the North 
side of the island. 

6. Future cutting would probably lead to higher moose populations 
on the island. 



. • ' . 



4* - 



RONDEAU BAY FISHERY SURVEY, MAY TO OCTOBER, 1950 

by 
A. H. Berst 



Description of Rondeau Bay 

Rondeau Bay is a shallow oval-shaped bay of Lake 
Erie, comprised of about 6,000 acres, running roughly north- 
east and southwest. It is flanked on the northwest side by 
clay farming land and rich onion marshes and on the south- 
east by a continuous marshy region which contains the area 
known to local residents as the "ponds" - an area which is 
very productive in wildlife, serving as a spawning grounds 
for northern pike, maskinonge, largemouth bass and dogfish 
in the spring and for wild duck breeding in the late spring 
and summer. 

About 50 percent of the bottom of the bay supports 
a luxurious growth of a great variety of water plants. Each 
summer there is a phenomenal growth of these plants in large 
areas in the bay, and each winter they decrease to a minimum 
as the water cools and the ice and snow cover shuts cut part 
of the sun ? s rays, 

The water level of the bay is the same as that of 
Lake Erie, since there is a direct connection between the 
two bodies of water by the channel at Erieau, Seiches 
occurring in Lake Erie have a marked effect upon the water 
level of Rondeau Bay, since they produce small "tides" 
which sometimes raise or lower the water level of the bay 
as much as 4" above or below normal. This is the only 
means by which the water of Lake Erie can mix with that of 
Rondeau Bay. 

The water in the bay remains turbid (Secchi disk 
reading of l v -2 ! ) until about the end of May in each year, 
becoming clearer as the season progresses, until in the 
late summer or early fall we find a Sscchi disk reading of 
10*~12!« 

There is a great variation in bottom composition 
around the shores of the bay. The south shore (at Erieau) 
is composed of sand and gravel, the southeast shore of sand, 
the northwest shore of clay from Rondeau Park to Rondeau 
village and of sand from Rondeau village to Squaw Camp and 
of sand and "peat" from Squaw Camp to Erieau. (Please refer 
to map) • 



- 49 - 



MAP OF RONDEAU BAY 

Showing ; 

1, Spawning Grounds for Bass. 

2. Locations of Proposed Closed Areas. 

(east of Line I & west of Line II) 




fi :>v 7 J * 

/fit .. "Vy* ■:■■■ y i w! 



>«. X * *. 



3s nests observed 



- 50 - 



Rondeau Bay supports a small carp seine fishery- 
owned by Mr, E. Stirling of Ridgetown and operated by Messrs. 
McGee, Farnsworth, and Speed. According to the owner, this 
enterprise has not been very profitable in late years, partly 
due to the abundance of bottom obstructions on the seining 
grounds and partly due to the high water levels. 

The sports fishery of Rondeau Bay provides the 
greater part, and in some cases the entire income for about 
12 tourist operators, some having from $10,000 to $20,000 
invested. According to the reports of various business men 
interviewed, the success of the sports fishery governs to 
an appreciable extent, the amount of tourist business in the 
area during the summer due to the large numbers of American 
tourists who come there to fish. 

Purpose of the Survey 

In response to the appeals of residents of the 
area and others, to conduct a scientific investigation of 
the habitat and the fisheries contained therein, with a 
view to making certain recommendations designed to improve 
the depleted condition of the black bass fishery if it can 
be shown that there is a definite depletion. 

Methods Used in the Survey 

1. The Creel Census ; 

At the beginning of the season the cooperation of 
the tourist operators was solicited. Mr. Clum, Mr. Howell, 
Mr. McRobb at Erieau, and Mr. Shanks at Rondeau gave in- 
valuable assistance both in the creel census and in the 
collection of length-weight data. Conservation Officer 
Martin and I checked anglers' catches while on patrol on 
the bay whenever the government boat was serviceable. 

I also made a weekly trip to Mitchell* s Bay and 
obtained data on anglers* catches for comparative purposes. 

2. Investigation of the Spawning of Black Bass ; 

During May and June, whenever water conditions 
were suitable, I made field observations on the spawning 
activities of large and smallmouth bass, both at Rondeau 
and Mitchell's Bay. At this time I made notes on the 
bottom types around the shores in order to make some estima- 
tion of the percentage of suitable spawning areas which were 
being used by the bass for that purpose. 



- 51 - 

The spawning investigation was followed during the 
remainder of the summer by a study of the bass fry and 
fingerlings. This study was made by interviewing persons 
who held minnow seining licenses re- the abundance of bass 
fingerlings and by having them save specimens from time to 
time to provide information on the growth rate of the young 
Dass • 

3. General Observations and Study of the Coarse Fish 
in Rondeau Bay 

Observations of Carp spawning activities were made. 
Anglers were interviewed re- the abundance of coarse fish 
i.e. carp, dogfish, bullheads, ling, garpike. Owners and 
operators of the carp fishery were interviewed re- the 
availability of coarse fish. (When this fishery begins its 
fall operations in November, I expect to accompany them on 
some trips to obtain data on this fishery. 

4 • Public Opinion Census 

Early in October a public opinion survey was 
carried out in which all of the tourist operators, the 
Conservation Officer of the area, and the officials of the 
local fish and game associations were interviewed re- the 
value of northern pike as a game fish in Rondeau Bay and 
proposed changes in the regulations designed to improve the 
bass fishery. The results of the above survey of public 
opinion may be found below and on page 63. 

Public Opinion on Closure of a Portion of Rondeau Bav 
Until July 1/51. 

(a) In favour of closure of sections of Rondeau Bay 
where black bass nests were most abundant this year. 

1. President of Hunters and Anglers - Mr. Viv 
Sutton - Ridgetown. 

2. Sec'y Treas. of Harwich Rod and Gun Club - 
Mr. MacCampbell - Blenheim. 

3. Conservation Officer for the area - Mr. Carlyle 
Martin - Ridgetown. 

4o Tourist operators on Rondeau Bay - 
Mr. Clarence Shanks - Rondeau Park 
Mr. Ross Burke - Erieau 
Mr. Geo. McRobb - Erieau 
Mr. Stan Clum - Erieau 
Mr. V. Howell - Erieau 
Mr. Al Crow - Erieau 
Mr. Walter Wilson - Rondeau 

5. License Issuer - Mr. Cornish - Erieau 

6. Owner of Goodison Fisheries - Mr. Dexter 
Goodison - Erieau. 



- 52 - 



(b) Not entirely in agreement with above. 

1. Mr. "Pop" Weir, Rondeau Park "Should only- 
close Gerundy Bay and "Ponds w . 

2. Mr. Provo, Rondeau "Should only close Gerundy 
Bay and "Ponds". 

(c) Not in favour with any closure of Rondeau Bay. 
No one. 

The Results of the Creel Census 

The following table gives the data obtained from 
the creel census of Rondeau Bay. 



TABLE I 
















May & June 


July 


August 


September 


Hours 




3497 


4131 


2216 


564 


N. Pike 


K 
R 


571 
605 


151 
92 


56 
33 


39 

3 


L. Bass 


K 

R 



110 


69 
30 


44 
6 


44 



S. Bass 


K 
R 






13 
1 


11 



21 

16 


Muskie 


K 
R 


2 
2 














Sunfish 




2010 


1610 


417 


104 


x Pickerel 


K 

R 


42 
2 


36 




267 
221 


32 



Rock Bass 




144 


143 


210 


75 


Perch 




13 


101 


99 


134 


Crappies 




9 


40 


123 





Dogfish 




1 


1 


2 


1 


Sheepshead 





97 









x - pickerel were caught at south end of channel. 

K - means kept. 

R - means released. 



- 53 - 



Results of the Creel Census - Mitchell* s Bay , 
TABLE 2 







May 


June 


Hours 




302 


960 


N. Pike 


K 
R 


41 



2 




L. Bass 


K 
R 



2 


2 




S. Bass 


K 
R 



109 


403 
65 


Muskie 


K 
R 



2 


2 



Sunfish 




36 


221 


Pickerel 


K 
R 


d 




20 
5 


Rock Bass 




133 


365 


Perch 




136 


313 


Crappies 







3 


Dogfish 










Sheepshead 










K - means 
R - means 


kept, 
released. 





July, August, September 
370 

1 






109 

23 

3 
1 

25 

2 



20 

35 

1 





Estimation of Total "Crop" of Northern Pike Removed by 
Angling from Rondeau Bay in the Spring, Summer, and Fall 
of 1950. 

Estimating that the creel census covered 1/15 of 
the angling on the bay and estimating from the data on the 
sizes of northern pike on page 61 that the average weight of 
pike was 2.60 pounds this would give a total of 15 x 2.60 
x 367 = 33313 pounds . 



- 54 - 



Explanation of the Above Calculation 

15 is the number required to bring the result to 100 percent. 
2.60 is the average weight of a sample of 52 northern pike 
taken by angling, 

£67 is the total number of northern pike which were removed 
by anglers covered in the creel census. 

Estimation of the Total "Crop of Black Bass Removed From 
Rondeau Bay in the Summer and Fall of 1950 

Estimating that the average weight of bass removed 
was 1.57 pounds by averaging the weight of a sample of 26 
largemouth and 12 smallmouth bass, this gives a total of 
15 x 1.57 x 202 = 4755 pounds . Combining the "crop" of 
northern pike and black bass "removed, we estimate that 33^13 
+ 4755 ~ 3^568 pounds were removed. This gives a figure of 
6.4 pounds of bass and pike removed by angling per acre, 
assuming that there are about 6,000 acres of water in Rondeau 
Bay. 

It is to be noted that fishing on a small scale 
is carried out through the ice in winter, and I understand 
that a few northern pike are taken in this manner. Also, 
from all reports, considerable pike spearing and illegal 
netting occurs every spring in the marshes surrounding the 
bay and there is no doubt that many northern pike are removed 
at this time. 

The Black Bass Fishery of Rondeau Bay 

Population and Availability 

The population is presently comprised of largemouth 
bass and smallmouth bass in the ratio of approximately 3sl, 
as shown by the creel census (please refer to table on page 
55). Unfortunately, the bass fishery is now of little 
importance due to the low availability of bass. From all 
reports this fishery has been deteriorating steadily for a 
number of years, and especially since the close of the last 
world war in 1945* 

The results of the present survey seem to show 
that the depletion of the bass fishery was caused partly 
by the heavy fishing pressure, partly by the wilful 
interference by the anglers with the bass spawning activities 
and possibly partly by a gradual change in the proportions 
of the two main species, northern pike and largemouth bass. 

Competition Between Northern Pike and Black Bass 

The northern pike are dominant over the black bass 
at the present time. The creel census indicated that about 
4 northern pike are caught for every black bass. Table 3 
shows that the availability of northern pi!:e was 
always much higher than that of the bass. 



- 55 



The extent of the predation by the northern pike 
upon the bass in Rondeau Bay is not known to the writer at 
this time. Some data on the stomach contents of northern 
pike of Rondeau Bay may be found on page : '« Additional 
data on stomach contents of the northern pike of Rondeau Bay 
should be available to me when the carp seine fishery begins 
operations later this month and I shall forward any signifi- 
cant findings. 

TABLE 3 - Rondeau Bay 





Availability of 
Bass. 


Northern Pike 


, Large and 


Smallmouth 








May & June 


July 


August 


September 
& October 


Hours 






3497 


4131 


2216 


5$9 


N. Pike 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


to 


K 
R 


571 
605 

2.9 hrs. 


151 
92 

16.9 hrs. 


56 
23.6 hrs. 


91 

5.9 hrs. 


L. Bass 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


to 


K 

R 



110 

31.7 hrs. 


69 
30 

41.7 hrs. 


44 
6 

44.3 hrs. 


46 
2 

12,0 hrs. 


S. Bass 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


to 


K 
R 






13 
1 

295.0 hrs. 


11 



201.4 hrs. 


27 

16 

13 .6 hrs. 


L. & 3 o 
Combined 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


Bass 
K 
R 
to 



110 

31.7 hrs. 


32 
31 

36.5 hrs. 


55 
6 

36.3 hrs. 


73 

13 

6,4 hrs. 



- 56 - 



TABLE 4 - Mitchell's Bay 





Availab 


ility of Northe 


rn Pike and 


Smallmouth Bass 






May 1 to 
June 25 


June 25 
July 30 


to 


July 30 to 
September 30 


Hours 




302 


960 




370 


N. Pike 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


K 

R 
to 


41 



7.3 hrs. 


2 



480 hrs. 




1 


370 hrs. 


S. Bass 

No. Hrs. 
Catch 1 


K 

R 
to 



109 

2.7 hrs. 


403 
65 

2.1 hrs. 




109 
28 

2.7 hrs. 



Length Distribution of a Sample of 
26 Largemouth and 12 Smallmouth Bass 
Rondeau Bay, 1950. 

FIGURE I 



so 




Comt 


di 


led Lai 


\& 


3 








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&!Sri 


ia. 


nr 


■ , 




1 
















! 


mc, 


rcfl 


rh~ 




/ 






i 










— 


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— 


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■ I 














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m s 












t 










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b 


— 








< 


t 










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k 




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w ■ 






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f 






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F 


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irj 


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. 










j 
















— 


— 












1 

i 


j 

; 1 











Length Distribution of 
a Sample of 40 Small- 
mouth Bass, Mitchell's 
Bay, 1950. 

FIGURE II 



N 
u 
m 
b 

e 
r 

o 
f 

F 
i 
s 
h 







1 


1 




I 










1 | 






— 








1 














— 


>? 


















ti- 


... 


k 



















..... 


ff 






Si 


















































> 


























r 












.... 












] 












9 












X 
























\ 
\ 

| 












/ 






































\ 
























\ 










4- 














1 — * 


1 
































2 
















\ 


























.... J 



fo-tt //- (j. /7.->i i*>¥- fVtf /<•'< ft'tf 



ta- rZ /?■/>/ !</•>$ "•') 



Length in Inches 



Length in Inches 



- 57 - 

Comparisons With Mitchell 9 s Bay and Long Point Bay 

It is to be noted that in Mitchell's Bay (see 
table 4) where the bass fishery has been excellent this 
year, that the limited creel census which I made there showed 
only a very weak population of northern pike. A similar 
condition exists at the present time at Long Point Bay where 
the bass fishery has been good this summer. 

Size and Condition of the Bass 

Altogether I was able to examine 26 largemouth 
and 12 smallmouth bass specimens from Rondeau Bay and 40 
smallmouth bass specimens from Mitchell's Bay. The distribu- 
tion curve (fig. 1) indicates that most of the bass which 
are being caught in Rondeau Bay are in the 12" to 16" group 
and that the 10" to 12" bass which should make up the bulk 
of the fishery are very low in numbers. In contrast to this 
(see fig. II) the curve for the length distribution of the 
smallmouth bass in Mitchell's Bay shows that the greater 
proportion of the bass being caught there are in the 10" 
and 12" group - a condition which is to be expected in a 
healthy fishery. 

The condition of all specimens from Rondeau Bay 
appeared to be excellent. The fish were clean and well 
filled out. 

Parasites 

No external parasites of any kind were found on any 
of the specimens. In most of the female bass specimens 
obtained from Rondeau Bay I was able to find two or three 
larvae of the bass tapeworm, Proteocephalus ambloplitis , in 
each ovary. However, I found that many of the smallmouth 
bass which I examined at Mitchell's Bay were very heavily 
infested with this parasite and in many cases normal spawning, 
especially in the older fish, was impossible, since the 
ovaries were very badly damaged by the activities of this 
parasite. 

Spaw n ing Investigation of Black Bass in Rondeau Bay 

Before May 20th the water in Rondeau Bay was so 
turbid (Secchi disk reading of 1.5 9 to 2.5') that observa- 
tion of the bottom of the bay was impossible. It is very 
doubtful if any spawning took place before this time in 
Rondeau Bay anyhow, since up to this date the water tempera- 
ture had not exceeded 59°F. 

By June 1st the temperature of the bay had reached 
65°F and the first spawning activities probably took place 
about that time. The first nests were discovered on June 
6th in Teal Bay on sand bottom about 15 feet from the shore. 
Only two nests were found. Both had one largemouth bass 



- 5* - 

guarding. Water temperature at the nests was 66°F. 

On June 7th I searched for nests along the north- 
west shore from Erieau to Rondeau, Two largemouth bass were 
seen together over what seemed to be a nest, or the beginning 
of one, in "peat" bottom (muck and roots of vegetation) near 
the mouth of Big Creek. I remained at this spot for 1/2 hour 
to observe. Both bass kept circling around an area about 
2 1/2 feet in diameter, in the center of which were a few 
straight-stemmed water plants which reached the surface. 
The depth was 3 T and the area was 15' from shore. Seven 
other bass, all of good size, were observed along the shore 
nearby, one approx. every 50 yards. None of them were very 
much disturbed by my presence and they all moved very slowly. 
They must have been taking part in some spawning activity, 
but I searched the shore carefully and could not discover 
any more nests. 

Also on June 7th, I found a very heavy concentration 
of nests along the shore near Squaw Camp, in sand bottom. 
They were well protected from wave action, since they were 
between the shore and a sand bar which was covered with 
vegetation. There were approx. 35 nests, all in an area 
of about 250 square yards. Only four nests had bass guarding. 
Eggs were collected from several of the unguarded nests by 
using a rubber sucking tube with 1 ? of glass tubing on the 
bottom. Several days later I learned from one of the tourist 
camp operators that anglers from another camp had encountered 
unusually good "sport" in this area. 

One tourist operator later told me that on June 7 9 
some anglers from his camp had caught and released 50 large- 
mouth bass in the "ponds" in one day. 

Also on June 7th, I searched Gerundy Bay for bass 
nests. Seven largemouth bass nests were observed, about 30 
yards apart and from 10 ? to 40 v from the shore in 3' to 5 ? 
of water. Three of these had bass guarding. Eggs were 
collected from most of the unguarded nests. Two boats with 
anglers were in Gerundy Bay when 1 arrived and one boat was 
seen in Gerundy Creek. I contacted each boat and told them 
that they were fishing over bass nests. Two of the boats 
left the area. 

On June 11th Mr. Viv Sutton and I made a portage 
into the "ponds" region. Water temperature in the "ponds" 
was 70 degrees F. We covered almost the entire "ponds" area 
but only found a few old nests. One group of largemouth 
bass was discovered in which approx. 20 were counted, ranging 
from about 7" to 15" in length. Dogfish were observed, 
guarding their nests. Hundreds of northern pike fingerlings 
were observed. I concluded that we were about one week too 
late to observe bass nests in the "ponds". 



- 59 - 



On June 14th I searched Gerundy Bay again. The 
nests which I discovered seven days ago were all deserted 
now. 

On June 19th, two nests were discovered in Big 
Creek on "peat" bottom. Both had largemouth bass guarding. 
The nests which I had found near Squaw Camp were all deserted. 

On June 21st a group of six largemouth bass ranging 
from 6" to 16" was observed in the southwest corner of 
Rondeau Bay. No nests were found on this day. 

On June 23rd , a large school of largemouth bass 
fingerlings was observed along the shore at Rondeau Park. 

To^the best of my knowledge, no spawning took 
place in Rondeau Bay after this date. 

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Fingerlings 

It is the general consensus of opinion among the 
men who hold minnow seining licenses that the numbers of 
bass fingerlings were low this year. 

Students of the University of Western Ontario 
laboratory at Erieau seined with a fine mesh seine once a 
week all summer and obtained only a few specimens of black 
bass fingerlings during the entire summer. 

Predictions on the Black Bass Fishery of Rondeau Bay 

From a study of the size composition of the bass 
population, and from the reports of unusually small numbers 
of fingerlings this year, I predict that the bass fishery 
of Rondeau Bay will show no improvement for at least the 
next three to four years. 

Conclusions ; 

1. The largemouth bass fishery of Rondeau Bay is very 
seriously depleted at the present time. 

2. The smallmouth bass fishery plays an important part of 
the sports fishery of Rondeau Bay and should be helped 
if possible. 

3. The reason for the failure of the bass fishery is not 
due to disease^ at least there is no evidence of disease. 

4. Sufficient data were obtained to lead us to believe that 
the spawning activities of the bass are being seriously 
interfered with by the anglers, and something should 

be done to protect the bass next year. 



- 60 - 

5. Northern pike are dominant over the black bass in Rondeau 
Bay, where the bass are depleted. In Mitchell's Bay 
and in Long Point Bay where the northern pike population 
is weak, the bass are plentiful. Possibly the northern 
pike are competing with the bass by (a) reducing the 
potential food supply of the bass, or (b) direct preda- 
tion on the bass. 

Recommendations for the Ba ss F ishery of Rondeau Bay for 1951 

1. In order to give the bass some measure of protection 
during their spawning season, I recommend that angling 
should be prohibited east of a line extending from the 
inner light on the east side of the channel at Erieau 
to Rondeau Park dock until after July 1, 1951 • (See 
location of this line on map) Line I . 

I also recommend that angling be prohibited west of a 
line extending from the inner light on the east side of 
the channel at Erieau to Rondeau dock (See map for 
location of line.) Line II . 

2. That we conduct a tagging experiment in Rondeau Bay in 
May, 1951? U3ing smallmouth bass which may be obtained 
from the Campbell Fishery at Colchester. This experiment 
could be carried out with very little expenditure, 
perhaps $35 for trucking expenses, and would be a source 
of valuable information and would at the same time be 
good for public opinion. Dr. Sprules of the University 
of Western Ontario is very much interested in such an 
experiment and has offered assistance with the tagging 

of the bass if we decide to carry it out. 

The Northern Pike Fishery 

At the present time the northern pike fishery is 
the most important fishery in Rondeau Bay, due to the high 
availability of this species. Many of the Americans inter- 
viewed in the creel census indicated that they considered 
the northern pike to be a very desirable species to catch. 
On the other hand, most of the Canadians interviewed, 
(exclusive of the boat rental operators) indicated that 
northern pike was undesirable in Rondeau Bay and that immediate 
steps should be taken to decrease its numbers. 

Population 

The population of northern pike in Rondeau Bay 
is relatively high as compared with the populations in 
Mitchell's Bay and Bay of Quinte (1949). The following 
bar graph (fig. 3) made from data on availability from my 
creel census work in three different waters serves to 
illustrate the above information. 



- 61 - 



FIGURE III - 



Bar Graph Showing Relative Availability of Northern 
Pike and Black Bass in Rondeau, Quinte and 
Mitchell* s Bay 



-p 

•H 
r-\ 
•H 
,Q 

cd 

rH 
•H 
CO 

> 



u 

o 
ac 

U 

o 

Xi 

CO 
•H 

O 

5h 
Q) 

a 
3 




Rondeau 



Quinte 



Mitchell* s Bay 



Size and Condition of the Northern Pike 



The average size of the northern pike in Rondeau 
Bay is very small. Most of the specimens in a sample of 
52 northern pike taken in Rondeau Bay this summer by 
angling fell between one to two pounds in weight or 17" 
to 21" in length. The reason for the small average size 
of the pike is probably the intensity of the sports fishery 
which serves to remove a large proportion of each year class 
as soon as it comes into the fishery. The following weight 
distribution curve illustrates this statement. 



- 62 - 



FIGURE IV - Weight Distribution of a Sample of 52 Northern 
Pike (taken by angling) Rondeau Bay, 1950* 



N 
u 
m 
b 
e 
r 

o 

f 

F 
i 
s 
h 



20 
18 
16 

14 

12 

10 

8 

6 

4 
2 





A 

. ; ... 


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i 










1 

! 
1 




i \ 

1 
.1. \ 


















! 




i 

\ 


i 


















I 

1 

I 


" ■ " 


\ 

1 

• 


















t 




\ 


















1 
1 




1 

1 

; 






















4 

\ 

\ 






■ 








i 

! 

i 


) 




\ 


















1 

! 






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— j — -1 






i 


; 




i 

! i 




/ 


_ I 1 


I 

! 

i 




" l ' i 
- -L ._ 

! - I 


i - 

> i . . . 







4 5 6 7 8 
Weight in Pounds 



10 11 



The condition of all of the northern pike which I 
was able to examine (about 40 specimens from Rondeau Bay) 
appeared to be excellent, with no sores or parasites evident. 



- ^3 - 



The Controversy Over the Spearing of Northern Pike in Rondeau 

Bay in the Spring 

Most of the local residents are in favor of having 
northern pike speared in the springtime in the marshes 
surrounding Rondeau Bay, and some of them make emphatic 
demands about it. For this reason, I made a brief census of 
public opinion on this question in October. The results 
are as follows s 

I . Those in Favour of Pike Spearing . 

Local Conservation Officer.- Mr. C. Martin. 

Official of the Federation of Hunters & Anglers - Mr. Viv Sutton. 
Official of the Harwich Rod and Gun Club - Mr. Mac Campbell, 
Owner and Mgr. of Goodison Fisheries, (whose interest is in 

the good of the sports fishery) - Mr. Dexter Goodison. 
Issuer of licenses at Erieau - Mr. Cornish. 
Various residents in Rondeau, Blenheim, Erieau, Ridgetown 

and vicinities. 

II. Those Not in Favour of Pike Spearing 

Seven boat rental operators on Rondeau Bay who claim that 
northern pike are too valuable a fish from the point of view 
of the American angler to allow them to be destroyed by 
spearing. 

Evidence in Favour of Reducing the Northern Pike 
Population 

1. The bar graph (see Fig. 3) shows that in three of the 
waters studied, where the bass populations are high the 
pike are low and vice versa. Therefore, if the northern 
pike population could be reduced by pike spearing it might 
give the bass a better chance to increase since there would 
be less competition. 

Evidence Against Reducing the Population of Northern Pike 

The following is a record of the stomach contents of northern 
pike which were taken from Rondeau Bay this summer. Part 
of the data was supplied by the University of Western Ontario 
Research Lab. at Erieau. 

May, 1950 

15 northern pike - stomach empty. 
3 northern pike - small fish unidentified. 
3 northern pike - Notropis Sp. 



- 64 - 



June, 1950 



1 northern pike - 1 log perch, 1 unidentified. 

3 northern pike - 1 log perch. 

1 northern pike - 1 rock bass. 

14 northern pike - stomach empty. 

1 northern pike - 2 fish unidentified. 

10 northern pike - Notropis Sp. 

It is to be noted that no black bass were found in the 
stomachs. 

Conclusions ; 

1. Northern pike are the dominant game species in Rondeau 
Bay at present. 

2. The northern pike fishery is in a very good condition at 
the present time, since there are large numbers of young, 
healthy pike in the fishery. 

3c Circumstantial evidence (as found in bar graph) indicates 
that the northern pike may be depressing the bass 
population. 

Recommendations for the Northern Pike Fishery 

1. If possible, more attention should be paid next year to 
the feeding habits of the northern pike in Rondeau Bay. 
It is rather difficult to obtain these data unfortunately, 
since no angler will permit the biologist to remove the 
viscera from the fish while on the water, and therefore 
it is usually necessary for the biologist to be on hand 
when the angler is ready to clean the fish. 

The easiest way to obtain these data is for the 
biologist to accompany the carp seiners and to obtain northern 
pike specimens from them. However, this summer, due to the 
high water level, very little carp seining was done. 

2. Pike spearing . 

We should give serious consideration to this request 
by a majority of the residents, because there is a good 
possibility that a reduction in the numbers of northern 
pike would help the bass population to return to a normal 
level. 



- 65 - 



The Pickerel Fishery 

The availability of blue pickerel (by angling) has 

been very high this summer,, These fish are mostly caught 

off the outer light of the channel at Erieau and consequently 
not inside Rondeau Bay. 

Considerable angling at night was carried on at the 
above location from commercial fishing tugs until restric- 
tions were imposed on the use of the tugs for this purpose 
by the Mounted Police. Due to these restrictions, most of 
the operators were obliged to lay up their boats and so 
many anglers were disappointed. 

The Silver Bass Fishery (Lepibema chrysops) 

At various times during the summer, large catches 
of this species were obtained by anglers fishing at night 
off the outer light of the channel at Erieau. 

The Maskinonge Fisher y 

To the best of my knowledge, about 7 maskinonge 
of legal size were caught in Rondeau Bay this summer. The 
largest weighed 3$ pounds. 

Angling for Pan Fish 

Bluegills, pumpkinseeds, crappies, perch and rock 
bass are all important. Bullheads are scarce. 

Hundreds of negroes from Detroit and vicinity 
come to Rondeau Bay to fish for pan fish or anything they 
find available. They are experts in the use of the bamboo 
pole and worm-baited hook, and they remove thousands of 
pounds of pan fish from the bay every summer. 

There are excellent habitats for bluegills in 
some of the weedy coves around the shores and I noticed 
considerable spawning of sunfish in these places, but it 
was also apparent that many of the parent fish were being 
taken off the nests by the anglers. 

If the areas which I have mentioned on page 60 
are closed to angling before July l/51 the bluegills and 
the pumpkinseeds will receive some protection as well as 
the black bass. 

The Carp Fishery of Rondeau Bay 

It is evident that there is a fairly large popu- 
lation of carp in Rondeau Bay at the present time; most of 
the shores of the bay composed of "peat" are heavily "pock 
marked" by their feeding activities. They can always be 
found during the summer amongst the wild rice beds along 
the shores of the bay. 



- te 



I observed the spawning of the carp during the 
latter part of May in the creeks which empty into the bay on 
the northwest shore. Their mating manoeuvres were so 
vigorous that they kept the water a coffee-brown color, 
with Secchi disk readings of 4" to 6". Largemouth bass 
spawning would have been quite impossible in these places 
due to the high turbidity. 

It is very difficult to make any estimation on the 
numbers of this species which are present; in 1935> the Bates 
Fishery removed 50 tons of carp from the bay, but this year 
only a few hundred pounds have been removed up to now. The 
present owner of this fishery is hopeful that when the water 
level returns to normal he will be able to catch large 
numbers of carp. 

General- Remarks on the Rondeau Bay Survey 

I believe that a creel census should be kept for 
the next few years in order to show any changes which occur 
in the population. This seems to be our best method of 
following the progress of a sports fishery and its value 
will increase if we are able to obtain this type of data 
for several consecutive years for the same body of water. 

An investigation of the spawning of the black bass 
should also be carried out next summer in order to find out 
whether the closure of parts of the bay has any significant 
effect on the success of the spawning of the black bass. 



LA! 



I SEPT. 

R 



L